Friday, October 06, 2017

The single engine fighter competition in India: An RFI on the short term horizon

New Delhi. The Indian Air Force (IAF) is finally set to issue a Request for Information (RFI) to the US Lockheed Martin for F 16 and to Swedish Saab for Gripen for acquiring 114 single engine combat aircraft.

In an interview with India Strategic and at a press briefing, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that the RFI should be out within October, and that he expected the capabilities of the aircraft being offered now to be better than those in the 2007 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contest.

“The procurement is envisaged under the Fighter Aircraft Segment of the Strategic Partnership Model (Chapter VII) of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP).

Under this, IAF will acquire 18 aircraft in flyaway condition and the remaining 96 will be progressively manufactured under the Prime Minister’s Make in India programme.

Notably, Lockheed Martin has tied up on its own with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) and so has Saab with the Adani Group. After either or both are selected on technical parameters in flight trials, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will approve the winner on the basis of commercial terms and how much Transfer of Technology (ToT) in sophisticated equipment accrues to India.
06/10/17 Gulshan Luthra and Air Marshal VK Jimmy Bhatia (Retd)/SLD

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